Karachi lawyers boycott court proceedings

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

10th Aug, 2021. 03:00 pm
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KARACHI: Lawyers boycotted court proceedings in Karachi on Tuesday to record their protest against the proposed appointment of Chief Justice Sindh Ahmed Ali M Shaikh as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Standing at the entrance of Sindh High Court and respective districts’ courts, office bearers of the bar bodies and lawyers supporting them blocked entry of litigants and lawyers to courtrooms. Only court staffers were being allowed to access the courtrooms.

At SHC, lawyers holding placards chanted slogans that the principle of seniority has been ignored in elevation of high court judges to Supreme Court and proposed ad hoc appointment of Chief Justice Shaikh.

Absence of litigants and their counsels forced benches to discharge their boards and defer the cases fixed before them. Lawyers who had reached court were seen discussing in barroom the situation created by elevation of a junior judge of Sindh High Court to Supreme Court and the reports regarding the refusal of Chief Justice Shaikh to accept the ad hoc appointment.

They were discussing the possible options that Justice Shaikh would have if the JCP went ahead and approved his appointment as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court.

Speaking to media, Sindh High Court Bar Association’s president Salahuddin Ahmed reiterated the bar bodies contention that principle of seniority should be followed in elevation and appointment to Supreme Court.

He said at present there seemed to be no fixed criterion and added that the same should be evolved and all the stakeholders, particularly the bar bodies of the whole country and principal law officers of the provinces and federal government, should be taken on board in this regard.

He said that the procedure being currently adopted by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) would create distrust among judges of superior judiciary about each other, will tarnish the image of judiciary in public and negatively impact its functioning.

“When there is no provision in the Constitution for appointment of an ad hoc judge in Supreme Court against an existing and anticipated vacancy, then why is JCP insisting on appointing chief justice of Sindh High Court as ad hoc judge of the apex court just weeks after elevation of a junior judge of SHC,” he asked.

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